Monday, November 1, 2010
By: Matthew Doucette
2010-NOV-17 Update: What follow is the first draft of the proposal, please read the final draft here.
Here's my proposition to change the face of XBLIG for the better, without requiring the failing the low quality games:
Google, Digg, Reddit, Amazon all have no problems dealing with an overabundance of low quality websites, stories, and books. Likewise, XBLIG shouldn't have a problem dealing with low quality games. There are many ways to do this, but here's my proposition:
- new releases (overall) (default) = the old face to XBLIG
- top rated (overall)
- best sellers (recent)
Problems: The best sellers and top rated lists change very little, and degrade in value to the returning gamer quickly. The new releases list is the worst quality due to laws of averages. It contains all recent games instead of all recent quality games. Plus, it changes too rapidly to offer any significant value to the average XBLIG developer. A game drops off the new releases list in a matter of days, compared to XBLA's new release list which lasts two months (back when it was capped at the top 20).
PROPOSED XBLIG FACELIFT:
I propose a few more lists and changes:
- top releases (default) = recent games rated >= 3.5; the new "new releases" list; the new face to XBLIG
- top ratios (overall) = best converting games; a different quality games list
- unrated (overall) = unrated (yet unjudged) games, ensures no title is missed, prepares the gamer for potential of low quality titles
- all releases (overall) = the old "new releases" list; no longer as default; ensures no title is missed
- top rated (overall) = same as before
- best sellers (recent) = same as before
Pros: It hides the unproven "new releases" in the non-default "all releases" list, as well as in the "unrated" list. Every game gets its chance to get into the more prominent and default "top releases" list. The face of XBLIG, the default list, is greatly improved and stays relevant. It also ends the desire to fail low quality games, and puts that argument to rest.
The point of this proposal is for a solution to better the face of XBLIG (easily) without the need to censor the low quality titles (something which is hard to do). Other platforms have done this, why not XBLIG?
I would love to know your thoughts on this. Please participate in the forum discussion here.
About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $190,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.